Illustration by DONKEY HOTEY
BY WILLIAM C. HENRY Having accepted “Rabbi” John Boehner’s invitation, Benjamin Netanyahu (the Israeli “state’s” senior Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, né Prime Minister of Israel) has decided to stand by his scheduled address to the huddled faithful on March 3rd. So, aside from the fact that said speech is opposed by many top-level Israelis both here and in Israel as well as by the President of the United States, what’s really wrong with his giving it? Allow me to count the ways: 1) John Boehner isn’t tasked with initiating or carrying out the foreign policy of the United States, the President is; 2) it isn’t, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be, the Speaker’s position to determine which Israeli political party should be favored, supported or endorsed by the United States government (we might want to get involved, but without exception it will always be none of our goddamn business); 3) criticizing and undermining the President in the foreign policy realm are two entirely different matters, and if ANYONE should know the difference, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Prime Minister of Israel damn well should! Need more? Imagine we had a Democrat Speaker of the House and a Republican President. Now imagine a similar scenario playing out. I rest my case.
Don’t think for one moment that the blame for this flap rests solely on Boehner’s stooped shoulders. It sure as hell does not. Netanyahu could have opted out at any time — and still can — but because he knows only too well the value of playing to the fears, prejudices and political power of America’s Jewish lobby/constituency (as well as those back home in Israel), he’s made up his mind to stick it out. It’s all about votes, folks, and, of course, God. The first of those representations, the “fear” factor, is simply the fear of losing votes. It infects, and at times nearly paralyzes America’s executive and legislative branches whenever the subject of any kind of threat to the security of the Jewish state raises what I like to refer to as its “long-suffering what-the-hell-did-you-expect righteous Palestinian head.” The “prejudice” component is that which leads so many American’s to believe that their God, the only real one, is somehow someway closely related to Elohim and therefore would certainly want them to come down on the side of his people whenever push comes to shove. The “power” ingredient is closely tied to the “fear” factor in that, as we all know, money always has been and always will be, the mother’s milk of politics, and Jewish campaign funding spells significant campaign sway, and hence, serious political power. The very thought of shutting off that teat or even slightly reducing its flow can be an extremely fear-inducing experience for any politician.
And, in a somewhat similar vein, let us not forget that both Boehner and Netanyahu have a stripe of bigotry running down their backsides. Whereas Johnny Boy’s leans more to the anti-important-Democrat-
You know, it shouldn’t be at all hard to understand why we end up with the caliber of elected officials we do. 63% of eligible voters bothered to drag themselves to the polls in Israel’s most recent election; 36% managed to make the big-hearted effort in our own (2014). And, I won’t bore you with the facts and figures applicable to the accumulated political acumen (or, more importantly, the lack thereof) of many of those who do acquiesce to haul themselves to the voting booths, but if you’re genuinely interested, you can find an excellent overview by clicking here. So, rather than revving ourselves to a frazzled tizzy, I think the best that the best of the rest of us (at least those of us who care enough to try to do our damnedest to bring about a sliver of change for the better in this totally screwed up world of ours) can do is keep in mind some of Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” foresight on the subject: “Inspired ones they resemble: but it is not the heart that inspires them — but vengeance. And when they become subtle and cold, it is not spirit, but envy, that makes them so. Their jealousy leads them also into thinker’s paths; and this is the sign of their jealousy — they always go too far: so that their fatigue has at last to go to sleep on the snow. In all their lamentations sounds vengeance, in all their eulogies is maleficence; and being judge seems to them bliss. But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful! They are people of a low sort and stock; out of their countenances peer the hangman and the sleuth-hound. Mistrust all who talk much of their justice! Verily, in their souls not only honey is lacking. And when they call themselves the good and the just, forget not that for them to be Pharisees, nothing is lacking but — power.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fed up early stage septuagenarian who has actually been most of there and done most of that. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Quite well educated. Very lucky to have been born into a well-schooled and somewhat prosperous family. Long divorced. One beautiful, brilliant daughter. Two far above average grandsons. Semi-retired (how does anyone manage to do it completely these days?) and fully-tired of bullshit. Uncle of the Editor-In-Chief.